A new study by researchers in Manchester and Salford is the first to investigate all types of fungal growth in the lungs of patients and non-patients.
Researchers looked at people with different kinds of aspergillosis or asthma, alongside people with no lung conditions. The study did not include people with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis.
They found that patients with severe asthma with fungal sensitisation (SAFS) and severe asthma without fungal sensitisation tended to have more fungal growth in their lungs than people with other conditions (or no conditions). But the statistics showed that this result is likely to be due to chance, and might not reflect what is going on in the real world.
The most common fungus was Aspergillus fumigatus. This fungus was the reason that some people had much more fungal growth in their lungs than other people in the study.
The researchers also found a link between steroid treatment and fungal growth, but based on this study we can’t say for sure that steroid treatment causes fungal growth in patients.
Hopefully further research will help us to understand what causes the differences in fungal growth between different people.